This autumn harvest inspired risotto, adapted from Feasting At Home, arrives just in time for fall. Creamy good with butternut squash, leeks and spinach, topped with maple glazed pecans, elevates this simple rice dish to chef status. So yum.
1 cup pecan pieces
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup plant-based butter, divided
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 tsp ground sage
1 cup Arborio rice
1/3 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
5 cups "no chicken" broth(or vegetable broth)
4 cups baby spinach, chopped
1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese
1. Prepare maple glazed pecans by preheating oven to 375°F. Toss pecans in a bowl with the maple syrup and salt. Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes, toss and bake 3 more minutes. Remove and let cool.
2. Heat broth and keep warm.
3. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp oil and 3 Tbsp vegan butter(reserving 1 Tbsp butter for finishing). Once melted, sauté leeks for 5 minutes, season well with salt and pepper. Stir in garlic, butternut squash and rice. Continue to cook until until rice well coated and begins to crackle. Add wine, sage and nutmeg and continue cooking, stirring until wine absorbed.
4. Using a soup ladle, begin to add the broth 1 ladleful at a time. Cook, stirring often until broth is just about absorbed. Continue to add the broth by ladelful and continue cooking, stirring often and adding more broth when rice is almost dry. Each ladelful of broth should take a few minutes to absorb. After approximately 25-30 minutes, the rice will be cooked to al dente. Reserve 1 ladelful of broth for finishing in step #6.
5. Stir in chopped spinach and continue to cook until wilted, approximately 2-3 minutes. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired. Remove from heat.
6. Stir in remaining 1 Tbsp vegan butter, last ladelful of broth and vegan parmesan. Serve in bowls topped with maple glazed pecans.